The Blues have made one injury enforced change to their side that will face the Chiefs as Angus Ta'avao comes in for Charlie Faumuina.
The Blues have made one enforced change to their side that will face the Chiefs as Angus Ta'avao comes in for Charlie Faumuina at tighthead prop.
Faumuina tore his right calf against the Waratahs last week and is expected to be out for eight weeks.
Former New Zealand U20 prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi is poised to make his Super Rugby debut after being named on the bench.
“Ofa is still a young man, he's getting better, he's been very good for the Development squad but Angus has been great for us so it's just a natural progression after the unfortunate injury to Charlie,” Kirwan said.
After consecutive losses against the Bulls and Waratahs, Kirwan said it was important for his side to rediscover their excitement levels.
“We just need to play our game, we want to get excited again and start playing the high tempo, high skill, high impact game which we haven't done in the last two matches so let's let the shackles off and get out there and enjoy it.”
Kirwan believed playing against the defending champions would bring out the best in his young team.
“If you can't get motivated to play the current champions who are in our neighbourhood then get out of the game,” he said.
“This is why we play the game. The Chiefs, our neighbours, down there, they're champions, we need to win – it doesn't get any better than that.”
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (c), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.
Date: Saturday, March 30
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Venue: ASB Baypark Stadium, Mount Maunganui
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)